Boys Town Father Flanagan House

About Boys Town Father Flanagan’s House

Edward Flanagan lived a storied life around Omaha, by living for others. Born in Ireland in 1886, young Edward lived with his parents and his ten siblings. Living in a deeply religious family instilled in him a devotion to the Catholic faith; working on the family farm played a positive role in developing his character. From humble beginnings then onto the United States, he was to live out his life earning respect and admiration. “Father Flanagan’s House” was the seed of Boys Town, and where he lived until 1941, and then moved to a nearby chapel for his last years of service.

Coming to the United States

A great migration from Ireland to the States was ending. In 1904, with his sister Nellie, they arrived. In 1906, he entered Saint Joseph’s Seminary close to New York City. Father Flanagan moved to Omaha, Nebraska, for a long recovery from pneumonia. After working as a parish priest there, he saw a need and established Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys. Success soon out striped the home’s capacity, and they moved to a farmhouse 16 miles to the west. With a larger house and the farm, he founded the small town that still serves to this day children regardless of gender, race or faith.

History of Boys Town Father Flanagan House

In 1936, after establishing a local government, the town was officially recognized by Nebraska. By this time, the greater world was taking notice. A 1938 movie portrayed the good Father and Boys Town, significantly increasing donations. The campus was growing allowing the administration to serve more significant numbers. Schools, more housing, protestant and catholic churches, healthcare, recreation and a sense of community lead to a feeling of home.

Boys Town Museum

The museum, Father Flanagan’s House, is a testimony to the man and boys who founded a unique community in the world. The history and today’s reality of Boys Town makes a visit to the museum a point of interest. All visitors will understand the depth of caring of the good Father. There for decades, Father Flanagan lived and worked. The relatively small house was the starting point. Improving the lives of at-risk youth was, and is, a fundamental part of the non-profit, and it all started at Father Flanagan’s House. Set in a 1920 décor, replete with mementos of the town’s founding, visitors feel the strength of one man’s humble greatness.   

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